A/N: I had absolutely no plans in starting a new full fledged story, but Money in the Bank had to go and happen. Inspiration struck a couple of days later as I was thinking about it all again, and now here we are.
Dean winced as he shifted around, unable to find a single way to sit and not have his body be absolutely wracked with pain. He sat alone on the park bench, which was the last place he had thought he would be tonight. He had intended to be at the bar celebrating with Roman, the belt still in his possession while Roman had the briefcase. They had it all planned out. They were going to take everything. Take what belonged to them. But their plans had come crashing down around them. Roman had lost thanks to Bray jumping into his business while he had lost because...well that was what he seemed to do best when it mattered the most. Every time he got close to what he really wanted, someone either fucked him over, or he just wasn't good enough to get it. Tonight had been the latter. He hadn't been good enough to beat Seth. If he had, he would have been able to hold on to the title after they hit the mat. He wouldn't have had to sit in the middle of the ring and nearly bawl his eyes out for the world to see. He had fucking beaten Seth just two weeks ago. He had pinned him in the middle of the ring, but even then he had gotten fucked over. He had snapped that night, taking the belt with him because fuck Seth, fuck the Authority and fuck that first referee. Seth didn't deserve to keep the belt by disqualification. He didn't deserve it now. But it occurred to Dean that maybe he didn't either. Not when he was such a big fuck up anyway.
Dean took another drink of his vodka, groaning as it slid down his throat. Even in his half drunk state, he could hear Roman's voice telling him not to think like this in his head. Part of him wished he was hearing it for real. He craved the other man's presence like crazy. But he wouldn't call him. He wouldn't seek him out. He didn't want Roman to see him like this. Roman had to put him back together again enough as it was. He didn't need to be burdened with it again on top having to swallow his loss tonight.
Coward. You just can't face him because you know Bray did it because of you.
Dean felt himself tense at the thought. He couldn't even begin to deny it. The instant Bray had appeared in the ring, Dean knew why he was there. It didn't matter what other long winded reasons Bray would give, or what excuses Roman himself would use; the real reasons would all came back to Dean.
The voice cut through the darkness, but Dean didn't jump. He knew it was coming. He looked up as Bray sat down next to him. The other man was still in what he wore at the arena, though thankfully without the apron. His eyes didn't hold the gleeful look Dean had been expecting. They were softer. Like he was not only concerned, but taking pity on Dean as well. If Dean could have mustered up the energy, he would have laughed. "I should kick your ass." He couldn't even make the words into a threat. He needed to. Bray had cost Roman that briefcase. He deserved an ass kicking of a lifetime. But they both knew he wasn't in any shape to carry it out. It was hard enough to do when he wasn't beat up all to hell.
"Does the brute really need you fighting his battles?" Bray spat out the word 'brute' like it was the most disgusting thing he could possibly say. "You've got enough troubles of your own." His eyes narrowed at the bottle of vodka Dean had. "Again?"
"At least it's not a cigarette." Dean defiantly took a drink of the alcohol. He knew Bray didn't like it. It was why he had rarely touched it since November. But tonight he didn't give a shit. He needed the numbness the booze would give him.
On another night Bray would have snatched the bottle out of his hands and thrown it away. But tonight he let it go. Dean was grateful for that. "I'm surprised he's not hovering over you. He hardly lets you breathe unless he's by your side."
"Look who's talking."
Bray laughed. Dean had been completely serious, yet Bray just laughed. Dean wasn't surprised. He muttered a few curses under his breath before bringing the bottle of vodka to his lips once again. He should have bought more than one. One wasn't enough to drown out the sharp, constant throbbing in his knee. Every stab of pain reminded him of how he had failed. It reminded him of no matter how good he was, Seth was always better when it actually counted.
Large fingers caressed his hair. Dean leaned against the touch, his eyes closing as his face crumpled. "I had it." His voice cracked and he hated it. He tried to regain control of himself, but he couldn't. He was too tired. Too defeated. Too frustrated. "I thought it was going to be different this time. I didn't...fuck!" He sniffled and pressed his head more into Bray's touch. He didn't care as much if he fell apart in front of Bray. With Roman he wanted to be stronger. Even if he knew he wasn't, he felt like he was burdening Roman when he got weak like this. Roman said he was the strongest person he knew, but he didn't always feel that way. Sometimes his mood would swing the wrong way and he would feel so weak and low and pathetic that he couldn't face anyone else. Except Bray that was. He wasn't afraid of letting Bray see the ugly parts of him, whether they be his thoughts or emotions. Bray was cut from the same kind of cloth that he was. Maybe he was stronger and a hundred times more demented, but it was still the same cloth. There was a comfort in that.
"Come on little lamb." Bray did take the bottle away now. He set it on the other side of the table before helping Dean up to his feet. Dean groaned and tried to put at least a little weight on his bad leg. Big mistake. He immediately crumpled, forcing Bray to catch him. The adrenaline that had kept him going earlier had long since worn off. "I got you." Bray carefully picked him up bridal carry style. "Just relax."
Relaxing was the last thing he needed to be doing. Dean knew that. He should get out of his grip and kick his ass for that stunt against Roman. But his head dropped down on to Bray's shoulder anyway. His eyes still closed, his body going limp as Bray started to move. He would just rest like this for awhile. Just a little while. Then Bray could get the ass kicking he deserved.
The cheap motel Bray had picked out for the night was one of the more questionable places he had ever picked out. It was small, with a battered roof and doors that were barely on their hinges. The walls were paper thin and the paint was chipping right off them. The smell of decomposition hung in the air, leaving Bray the question of whether it was an animal or a human. The lady at the desk had looked to be nearly seventy, though Bray had suspected that was because of the meth she had used to do rather than it actually having anything to do with her real age. The few people they had passed in the halls had given Dean the eye, which Bray had shut down with a glare of his own. It was bad enough that he had to share Dean with Reigns. He would be damned if he let anyone else near him.
He got Dean stripped of everything but his boxers before getting him settled on the bed. He put an ice pack on his knee, which had swelled in a rather ugly manner. He should have been looked over by a doctor, but Dean hated those and Bray didn't much believe in them. Abigail had taught him how to heal. He could take care of Dean just fine on his own.
The TV was on, playing some sitcom rerun that Bray didn't know the name of. It wasn't nearly as funny as the laugh track would have anyone believe though. Dean stared at the screen, his expression set in a frown. The events from earlier were still bothering him. The title had been as good as his. He had gotten so close, only to be robbed yet again. The failure was eating him up on the inside. Dean could usually let losses go, but it was different when it came to Seth. The wounds of the betrayal still ran deep. No matter how much he tried to solider on, it was still a raw, gaping wound. And every attempt he had made to put things right had gone awry.
Bray let his eyes wander up and down the bruises that now littered Dean's body. As much as he himself hated Rollins, the little weasel had made a work of art out of Dean. Battered, bruised, teetering on broken - it made Dean belong to him for the night instead of Roman. For that, he was more than happy. Dean's attachment to the former muscle of the Shield wore on him. Roman didn't deserve him. Bray was sure of that. Roman could claim he loved Dean all he wanted, but Bray knew he still went home to his wife and child. He hadn't given them up for Dean. He kept them around, using them to show the world his lie. Whether the two of them were aware of it Bray didn't know. He didn't care. What he cared about was Dean. Dean was the only one who mattered.
Bray reached over and traced his his fingers up and down Dean's torso. He heard Dean's breath catch in his throat and swooped in for a kiss. It wasn't as harsh as it normally was, but it was demanding all the same. Dean grunted, making a tiny effort to push him away before giving in. Bray's touch grew firmer, making Dean shudder and wince. Dean was absolutely addicting. Every little touch made Bray want more. Every kiss sent sparks through Bray's whole body. Dean felt it too. He knew he did.
"Fuck!" Dean groaned as Bray's lips traveled down to his neck. He tilted his head back, leaving more of it exposed. "Bray...fucking jesus Bray not now."
"Why not?" Bray let his kisses go to Dean's collarbone while his fingers played with the waistband of Dean's boxers.
"I'm fucking tired. And my knee is fucking killing me."
"You wouldn't say no if it was him."
Dean flinched. "Don't fucking do that to me. Not tonight."
"Well am I wrong?"
"Yes you fucking asshole."
Bray was still skeptical. He moved off the bed, walking over to where he had put Dean's jeans. He picked them up long enough to get out Dean's phone before dropping them once again. "Eleven missed calls." He let out a low chuckle. "I wonder who these are from."
"Bray stop it."
"Bray seriously. Shut the fuck up."
"It's cute how he pretends to be worried about you."
Dean stiffened. "He don't pretend anything." He reached his hand out. "Give me the phone."
"No." Bray dropped it back down, not caring if it broke as it hit the floor. It had been tempting to call Roman back. He could rub it in his face that he had Dean once again, but he didn't. That could be done later. For now he went back to the bed, grabbing the remote and shutting off the TV.
Dean swallowed hard. "I should text him." Guilt was creeping in, much like it always did. "He had a bad enough night as it was. He shouldn't have to worry on top of it."
Bray rolled his eyes. "He knows very well that you're with me. It's not a mystery to him."
Dean looked down at his hands. "You're a fucking asshole for what you did."
"Me?" Bray let out a small laugh. "I merely just didn't let him take something else he didn't deserve." He grabbed Dean's chin and squeezed it gently. "I'd burn this entire world down for you while you don't even fully get him. He goes home to them. He lives a lie with them. Doesn't it bother you being second best?"
Dean shoved his hand away. "He's good." His exhaustion made his argument sound weak at best. "He's a good man."
Maybe he was. Roman was probably as good of a man as one was going to get. But even a good man had a monster living inside of him. Or one could be created. Bray barely held back a smile at the thought. That was quite the intriguing thought. Could he make a monster out of Reigns? Or better yet, could he break Reigns? Now he did smile, causing Dean to narrow his eyes suspiciously.
"What? What the fuck are you thinking about?"
Bray didn't answer him. He just kissed him again, a hand reaching down to rub Dean's cock through his boxers. Dean groaned, his earlier refusal forgotten as he arched into Bray's touch. Bray smirked and deepened the kiss. The thoughts of Roman left his head completely. He could worry about the brute later. Right now he just wanted to focus on Dean.
Roman took another look at his phone, hoping to see a message that obviously wasn't going to be there. The ringtone he had set for when Dean called or texted him hadn't gone off. It probably wouldn't for the rest of the night. Dean had looked so utterly defeated after the match with Seth. Roman had watched from backstage, his heart breaking at the look on his best friend's face. He had tried to catch up with him afterwards, not wanting him to be alone. But Dean had evaded him, instead taking off to parts unknown. Roman had tried looking for him, but every bar he had gone to had been a dead end. He had even tried searching the area around the hotel and the arena, but still no luck. When Dean wanted to get gone, he really got gone.
Roman set his phone down and let out a long sigh. He had called and left messages, hoping Dean would get back to him. That was all he could really do if Dean didn't want to be found. But even in knowing that, it still didn't feel like enough. He still felt like a piece of shit for laying on this bed while Dean was who knew where. His own lost match had been almost forgotten. Almost was the key word. His wife calling to check on him had put it back on his mind. She had even asked him why Bray would target him. He hadn't been able to give her an answer. There was no way to tell her the reason he believed for it. He couldn't say he and Bray had already been at odds backstage because they were both sleeping with Dean. Of course, that was probably what he needed to do. He couldn't keep on lying to her. Eventually that was going to come back to haunt him. But for tonight he admitted nothing. He played dumb, going through the motions and feeling like an asshole even after he hung up. He couldn't keep doing this. It wasn't right. It wasn't right to lie to her. He loved Dean, and it wasn't right to put him through this crap either.
Gray eyes looked to the phone once again. Even if he didn't know where Dean was, he was pretty sure he knew who he was with. The thought made his stomach twist uncomfortably. He didn't understand why this thing with Wyatt was still going on. It still baffled him that it even started. Sure he knew Dean had a tendency to sleep with people he was at odds with. It had happened with Seth and Regal in FCW. The first time he and Dean had slept together had been after an argument that had come to blows. But even in knowing this, Dean falling into bed with Bray still managed to shock him. Maybe it was because it was Bray Wyatt. That was just weird to him. And it made him completely uneasy. Bray had been completely fixated on Dean from the start. He was creepy, obsessive, and didn't have much care for Dean making time for anyone else but him. Roman had tried to point this out. He tried to reason with Dean. But Dean was Dean, and he did whatever he wanted anyway.
Roman groaned and put the phone on the bedside table. He needed to try to get some sleep. He had to get up early to make the drive to the next city for Raw. He made himself slip under the covers and shut off the lights. His attempts to close his eyes and go to sleep brought absolutely no success. Anxiety gnawed away at him. He should have tried harder to find Dean. He shouldn't have let him get away. He belonged here, safe in this bed and being taken care of instead of wherever Bray surely dragged him off to. He wanted to get up and start looking for them again. "God damn it." He rolled over on his side so he could stare at the wall instead of the ceiling. Fucking Wyatt. Between this and the stunt he pulled during the match he was going to punch him extra hard in the mouth the next time he saw him.
It was nearly three hours later before his phone finally went off. Roman sat straight up, not caring that he had almost finally been asleep. He rolled back over and grabbed the phone, not even bothering to check the name flashing on the screen. He knew who it was already. "Dean?"
"Hey." The tired, raspy voice he had been waiting on was nearly a whisper.
"How are you?" Roman reached over and fumbled around until he found the lamp sitting by his bed. He turned it on, the light hurting his eyes a bit.
"I'll live." Dean didn't try to lie and say he was fine. He knew Roman would see right through it. "S'not the worst I've ever been beat up."
Roman knows that's true, and the knowledge made his heart hurt. "I'm taking you to the trainer's room tomorrow. You should have been looked at tonight."
Dean started to groan but quickly stopped himself. "Jesus Ro. Just leave it alone. It's nothing to worry about."
"It is." Roman turned to look at the clock and winced. It was past three in the morning. He was going to need extra coffee just to be functional in the morning. "Where are you?"
"What motel? I can come get you."
"Don't. It's fine. I'll meet you at the arena tomorrow."
Roman knew he should leave it well enough alone. It never did any good to push Dean. But he found himself speaking yet again, despite his better judgment. "Are you with him?"
Dean's silence on the other end answered that one.
"He found me. I didn't go to him."
Roman believed that. Bray was good at finding Dean when he couldn't. "Where does he got you? I can come get you."
"I'm fucking tired Ro. And I don't have the energy to even watch you two fight." Dean let out a sigh. "Look, I'll meet you at the arena. You can bust his head in then."
Roman tried to object. He had the first word of it almost out of his mouth when he heard Dean curse. The call ended suddenly, making Roman groan. That wasn't how he had wanted it to go. He pulled the phone away from his ear, his thumb tracing over the screen. He almost called Dean back that very second. That was what he wanted to do. But he knew Dean wouldn't answer. The call that had just ended was all he was going to get for the night.
"Fuck!" He put his phone away again and settled back down. He didn't even try to close his eyes this time. He just resigned himself to the fact that this was going to be a very long night.